Editor’s note: The following article originally appeared on Nintex’s blog and is republished here with permission. Nintex, a ServiceMax from GE Digital partner, sponsored recent Maximize events in Las Vegas and Boston. Following the events, Rob Alley from Nintex’s product marketing team spoke with Lubor Ptacek, vice president of product marketing at ServiceMax, about top takeaways from the Maximize events. The result is the following Q&A.
Rob Alley: Your team at ServiceMax just hosted two successful Maximize World Tour events. What were some of the most popular topics with your attendees?
Lubor Ptacek: Undoubtedly, the hottest topic was the acceptance that digital transformation is imperative.
Field service providers realize they can no longer sit idle, and most have already started their journey. However, the stage and story for each company is different.
Another related theme we addressed was the need to quickly move from a reactive break-fix state to a truly proactive model encompassing both predictive and preventive maintenance methodologies. It is well understood that connecting equipment and collecting data are key to digitizing field services, but the most important part is knowing what to do with all of that information.
ServiceMax, along with our partners, are developing solutions such as dynamic planned maintenance and Intelligent Process Automation that make it easier to act on insights and deliver equipment-centric service.
Rob Alley: Where do you see the biggest opportunity for future innovation in service delivery processes?
Lubor Ptacek: There is so much room for innovation. One major area we’ve identified is finally delivering on the promise of IoT. Sensors can provide a ton of data; the most difficult part of the process is ensuring that data is accurate and actionable.
That said, once the industry becomes more proficient in this regard, there’s a massive amount of automation opportunities and use cases for machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality, wearable technologies, and more. We fully intend to leverage and work with our partners in this journey.
Imagine the advances we can make in dynamic service scheduling and dispatching workflows, or how efficient field techs can be with advanced mobile capabilities and data-driven document generation tools.
Rob Alley: A big theme at Maximize was exploring the possibilities in Asset Performance Management (APM). Can you give an example of how an organization would transform their APM processes and how it would provide value to their business?
Lubor Ptacek: APM is the solution we offer to make sense of the mountain of data many of our customers collect. As I mentioned, there needs to be intelligence between equipment sensors and field service providers. Not every alert should automatically dispatch a truck with service technicians.
APM looks for anomalies and indicators in data that can help make decisions and drive action. For example, a reading from a piece of equipment could automatically trigger the creation of a work order and dispatch a technician, but there needs to be a high degree of certainty service is required.
On the other hand, historical data combined with current indicators may lead to the decision that a piece of equipment isn’t worth repairing. This discretion ultimately saves time and money for everyone, while increasing productivity over the long-term.
Rob Alley: ServiceMax is making great strides in its mobile capabilities. Which features are you most excited about? What are your future plans for your mobile offering?
Lubor Ptacek: Field service techs are the primary users of our mobile technologies. They spend nearly all of their time in the field on mobile devices, so this is a high priority for ServiceMax.
The popular method has transitioned from tablets to phones. Users also want consumer-grade apps leveraging native capabilities. The future opportunities of chatbots, voice commands, etc. present big opportunities. We also work with partners that are versed in AR, VR and wearables. We’re excited to see what lies in the future for these mobile-first innovations.
Rob Alley: Nintex and ServiceMax successfully work together to automate, optimize, and orchestrate field service processes and deliver greater mobility. How is that partnership benefitting your customers?
Lubor Ptacek: We believe successful enablement of field service providers happens across two critical dimensions – business strategy and technical integration.
ServiceMax and its partners are laser-focused on delivering more efficient operations through process improvement, which helps providers increase equipment uptime and grow profitability. The solutions addresses a need, and maintains the ability to scale.
Our product offerings must be intuitive and tightly integrated. A great example of this is how our Field Service App integrates with Nintex DocGen to provide a native and seamless experience for techs working remotely in the field, even if they don’t have an internet connection.
Rob Alley: What are some opportunities for innovation that arise when technician enablement is combined with Intelligent Process Automation?
Lubor Ptacek: ServiceMax is a robust automation engine supporting field service delivery from end-to-end, and partners like Nintex help to extend our platform.
For example, if our customers want to increase the power of their document processes, Nintex DocGen enables them to ingest data that is deep within ServiceMax to generate sophisticated and formatted documents, while also offering advanced workflow capabilities. Additionally, Nintex allows customers to easily connect with any external system and dynamically trigger processes such as a customer satisfaction survey.
Rob Alley: Looking back, what are your biggest takeaways from Maximize?
Lubor Ptacek: I was happily surprised to learn how far along some customers are in their digital transformation journey.
It was also great to see the level of engagement between attendees and our technology partners like Nintex, as well as the interest in APM. Mobility is definitely top of mind for this audience.
And, it’s always great to see a broad mix of job roles at Maximize, ranging from executives and IT admins, to business analysts and operations workers. It’s clear that optimizing field service delivery is now seen as a primary revenue driver, as opposed to a cost center.